|Cashlite fare system cards|
Nakuru is now named the fastest growing town in Africa by the United Nations. There are indications it might overtake Nairobi city in development agenda.
This is a town that a group of politicians in the early 1990 s had proposed to be made Kenyan’s Capital. The reason cited was it is middle of the country. Nakuru was the cleanest town by then.
Recently it has embraced new technology. It emerged as the first Kenyan town to offer residents free street Wi-Fi. Nairobi was the first country to adopt the cashlite fare system 1963 card. In the last three month it recorded a faster adoption rate of the Cashlite fare system, 1963 than Nairobi.
With 16 of the county’s SACCOs converting to the Cashlite payment system, running about700 vehicles, and now predominantly on the 1963 system. Nakuru is now pulling ahead in seeing SACCOs push harder to adopt the Cashlite fare system, in a drive spearheaded across the county by 3NTO, Bahama, Naloki, Phase Two Sacco, and Highway Travelers.
These SACCOs commonly ply routes to Nairobi-Nakuru, Naivasha,-Lanet, as well as within Nakuru County. The aggressive lead of the long distance SACCOs in adopting the Cashlite fare system hopes to see, more than ten SACCOs adopting the system in a week’s time.
In seeking rapid installation of 1963 systems, as matatu owners move to streamline revenue collection from their public service vehicles on road. Nakuru seems to find it easy to grow faster in terms of development agenda than the capital Nairobi, which is seems to lug behind or has reached optimum in development agenda.
“After identifying the yawning gap for a cashless fare system in the region, we met with Nakuru matatu SACCOs in December and enlightened them about the cashless fare system and the role it plays in improving their business. The uptake, however, began much later, but has since been far more rapid than in Nairobi,” said Mwakio Ngale, 1963 General Manager.
In aiding consumer education in Nakuru County, 1963 is adding employees to act as activators .Every two in five people in the registered SACCOs to act as activators and training for both consumers and matatu staff to ensure faster uptake of the Cashlite fare system.
About 10,000 registered cards in Nakuru County. The switch to the Cashlite system in is being driven mainly by the matatu owners and SACCOs. 3NTO SACCO.
For it has sought out the 1963 team to register for the cashless system. They are now enlightening passengers on card usage benefits and the SACCO has 30 of its matatus using principally the 1963 card.
“Registered SACCOs now have an upper hand in attracting investors in the matatu industry and it has simplified procurement process for those interested in purchasing new vehicles. Apart from just getting your money in real time, the technology has enabled us to know the status of matatus at all times and guarantee fair and decent terms to both operators and passengers,” said Lucas Gachiri, Manager 3NTO SACCO.
Mr. Mwakio Ngale, the 1963 General Manager says that, although the number of registered cards in Nakuru County is still lower than Nairobi because of the wider population gap, there is consistency in how people are using the card and the uptake is now faster in Nakuru compared to Nairobi. He also noted that, the youth account for 75 per cent of registered 1963 card users, mainly of students who navigate between their schools and hostels using matatu.
Passengers can now use the 1963 card in all buses and matatu with 1963 stickers within the county’s CBD.